On June 22, 2016, East Georgia State College entered a new chapter of their history with the ribbon cutting ceremony and open house held at their newest residence hall, Bobcat Villas – West. With the addition of the 212-bed facility, EGSC now has a capacity of 412 on-campus residents.
With over 200 members of the community present, including those who worked on the construction, planning, and development of Bobcat Villas – West,
The ceremony commenced with EGSC President Bob Boehmer recognizing the myriad of distinguished guests in attendance, including L.C. “Shot” Strange (for whom the Clubhouse on campus is named) and former EGSC President Dr. John Black.
“Residential housing at East Georgia State College is a reality because of Dr. Black’s vision about the future of this campus,” said Dr. Boehmer. “Thank you for being here and thank you for your vision and leadership.”
Other guests included Marty Nance, Director of Real Estate for the University System of Georgia; Brett Fortune of the contractor Fortune-Johnson; representatives from Lott + Barber, the architects who designed the building; representatives from the Chamber of Commerce, Southeastern Technical College, Emanuel County Board of Education, Franklin Memorial Library, Pineland Telephone and many more members of the community.
Speakers for the event were Representative Larry J. “Butch” Parrish, Senator Jesse Stone, Jimmy Scott with Corvias Campus Living, Swainsboro Mayor Charles Schwabe, EGSC Foundation Chairman Denny Key and EGSC freshman (and on-campus resident) Elyse Sherman.
“When I went away to school, our cell phone was at the end of the hall and was called a phone booth. We have come a long way,” said Representative Parrish. “Senator Jack Hill wanted to be here today and he sends his best wishes.”
“This [college] is such an important part of this community,” he continued. “It is a great asset to the community and this part of the state.”
Senator Stone then spoke, saying “This is a dream come true, fulfilling the vision that this college has had since its founding and very important to the future of this institution.”
He reminisced about his time living in a residence hall during his school years, “You meet people who are going to be your friends for life in communal living like this,” he said. “It opens up opportunities for the service area of the college as well. We’re going to see continued growth as a result of this and as a result of relationships formed when people live here and have greater use of the facilities.”
Jimmy Scott with Corvias Campus Living then spoke, saying “We truly have a partnership here at East Georgia.” He went on to recognize those involved in the project at EGSC and the members of Fortune-Johnson, Lott + Barber, and the Board of Regents. “We couldn’t ask for better partners in this process.”
Swainsboro Mayor Charles Schwabe then spoke, joking that he had already registered for Fall so that he could live in the residence hall. “Every time we come out here [to EGSC], something special is happening, but we all know that this doesn’t just happen. It takes a lot of hard work,” he said. “On behalf of the community, let me say that, while every ribbon cutting is a special occasion, when you are doing what this college is doing and touching the lives that this college is touching, some are more special than others.”
EGSC Foundation Chairman Denny Key then spoke. “This is the first of seven [projects across the state]. It wasn’t a year ago that we had a tent pitched here for the groundbreaking. Thirteen months later, here we are. Every time a brick is laid, it makes me feel confident that East Georgia State College is going to be here and is going to be great.”
“East Georgia State College is all about the students. That’s why we’re here,” said Dr. Boehmer, introducing Elyse Sherman. “I’m proud to have our final speaker be one of East Georgia State College’s outstanding students.”
“My experience here has been amazing. All the kids are very welcoming when you move in,” she said. “The benefit of living here is that you definitely get to class on time and you get to sleep later. You make new friends and there is a lot of academic support for you.”
She described the amenities at the residence hall, saying “I’ve learned to live on my own here. [Living on campus] has taught me to be an independent adult.”
The group then assembled cut the ribbon to officially open EGSC’s newest residence hall, Bobcat Villas – West.
To learn more about on-campus living or to sign up for a tour, visit www.ega.edu/housing or call 478-289-2172.